The 1812 Immigrants from Ballyleese, Ireland, to Washington County, Pennsylvania

ROBERT MCELRAVY (1807-1859) Biographical Summary

Robert McElravy was born in Ireland about 25 May, 1807, based on his death date and age at death. No separate 1830 census record has been found for him - and I believe that he may have been living with his sister Nancy and her husband William Q. Hill in Nottingham Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania. They had apparently just recently been married and their household included another male in the 20-30 age range. The two older brothers of Robert and Nancy had moved to Ohio during the 1820s. Robert bought a lot in the town of New Rumley, Harrison County, Ohio, on 29 Jan 1831. On 3 May 1832, he married Harriet Atkinson in Harrison County. Harriet was born 5 Jan 1806 in Pennsylvania.

Before 1840, Robert and Harriet were in Union Township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio. The 1840 census listing for them was as follows: Robert McElravy

Males:     1 10-15; 1 30-40
Females: 1 30-40
It is not clear who the boy, age 10-15 was. Robert and Harriet had no children of their own as far as is known. While Robert was guardian of an orphan named Joseph Harvey Fenner who lived with them until adulthood, he was only 10 years old in 1850 - so this was not him.

The Tuscarawas County History records that Robert served as Union Township Magistrate for three years during the 1840s - the first term being 1842.

The 1850 census listing for the family in Union Township, Tuscarawas County was as follows:

Robert McIlravey 45 M OV SEA farmer
Harriett McIlravey 35 F PA  
Joseph H. Finner 10 M OH  
Neighbors in 1850 included the household of Elizabeth Atkinson, age 78, who appears to have been Harriet's mother. That household also included two sisters of Harriet - Jane (45) and Elizabeth (40) both born in PA. Also, it included an Elizabeth Crossen, age 15 born in Ohio. From other records and from Robert's will, it appears that this person later married Thomas LaPort and is named in Robert's will as his niece Elizabeth LaPort. The Elizabeth, age 40, was her widowed mother, and is listed by Robert in his will as Elizabeth Crossen, "sister of my wife".

On December 29, 1858, Robert wrote his will. One week later, on January 5, 1859, he died. He is buried in the Mt. Bethel United Brethren Church Cemetery in Union Township. The tombstone lists his age as 51y 11m 7d. His will is valuable to us in that he specifically named his brothers, Hugh and Daniel - and his sister, Nancy Hill. The will also includes legacies to Hugh C. McElravy, son of Hugh, Robert, son of Hugh, Robert, son of Daniel, Harriet's sister, Elizabeth Crossen, a niece, Elizabeth LaPort, and Joseph Fenner. James Edie and Harriet were named as executors of the estate. A complete transcription of the will is here.

Part of the legacy to Joseph Fenner was based on the condition that he remain and help Harriet with the farm until he was of age. He did remain - even after Harriet remarried.

In 1857, Eleanor, the wife of Hugh (1791-1879) had died in Harrison County, OH. On 9 Feb 1860, Hugh married Harriet, his brother's widow in Tuscarawas County and moved there. They are listed in the 1860 census living in Union Township - with the household including Joseph (Fenner) - age 20.

Elizabeth LaPort, named in the will as Robert's niece, is listed in the 1860 census in Clarke County, Iowa, with her husband Thomas C. Laport and two young children. In addition Elizabeth Crossen, age 51, her mother - and a sister of Harriet was living with them. In 1870, Elizabeth Laport, age 34, was living in Cherokee County, Kansas, with 3 children - but apparently widowed. Her mother, Elizabeth Crossen, age 52, born PA, was still living with her.

[Thanks to Sue Sohn for locating these census records.]

The localities of all the McElravys listed in Robert's will are known. Robert's sister, Nancy Hill, was in Effingham County, Illinois, at that time. The probate record indicates that she received all of her legacy - the last payments being made to her in April, 1865. (She died early in 1866.) One of the payments was made to "Wm & Nancy Hill." Daniel was in Harrison County, Ohio - but he also died in April, 1860, and his part of Robert's estate was paid to his estate through Joseph Holmes, administrator. Hugh was a widower in Harrison County, Ohio when Robert died - but moved to Tuscarawas County in 1860 and married Harriet.

Because Robert's will involved selling a part of the land after five years, his estate was not settled and the executors discharged until 1867.

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